Eating the Alphabet

Recommended for: Preschoolers

Materials Needed:

  • Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
  • A pencil, crayon, pen or other writing tool, and paper
  • Grocery store advertisements and scissors

Developmental Goals: 

  • Identify a variety of healthy food options, in this case fruits and vegetables.
  • Associate letters with the beginning sounds of words.
  • Recognize upper and lower case letters. Categorize produce as either a fruit or a vegetable.

In the Future:

  • The more opportunities young children have to explore a variety of foods, the more likely that they will eat a varied and healthy diet as they grow.
  • As children build their understanding of letters and the sounds they make, they will begin to piece letters together in invented spelling.
  • The ability to categorize objects is a beginning math skill that children will later build upon as they identify the properties of shapes and understand how to complete a pattern.

Activity:

  1.  Introduce the book to your child.  As with any new book, take time to allow her to explore the book’s pictures on her own before sitting down to read it out loud.
  2.  As you read the book, invite her to talk about the foods she sees on each page.
  3.  In addition to simply identifying the fruits and vegetables, talk about which ones she likes, which ones she wants to try, or what recipes you could make with the foods.
  4.  If your child has shown an interest in the alphabet, invite her to tell you the letters she recognizes.
  5.  For more letter play, you can encourage her to make connections among the letter sounds and the first letter of the foods on each page.
  6. After enjoying the book a few times, invite your child to guess which foods are fruits and which are vegetables. You can extend on this idea by bringing out grocery store advertisements from the newspaper and having her cut out pictures of fruits and vegetables. Once she cuts out the pictures, have her sort them into two piles: a fruit pile and a vegetable pile.
  7. You can take this further by having your child create a grocery list of fruits and vegetables by either drawing pictures of the foods, writing letters to represent the beginning sounds of each food, or using invented spelling. At the store, ask your child to look closely for the foods that she put on your list.

Contributor: Educare Chicago